Using ielts reading techniques in teaching english


The choice of techniques is of great importance for effective teaching, since the techniques the teacher uses may produce poor or good effect on pupils' learning. The choice of the techniques for each method depends mainly on the methodological principles the teacher observes. When organizing pupils' acquisition of a new material the teacher thinks of the techniques which are more suitable for his pupils: he takes into consideration pupils' age, their progress in language learning (the stage of learning), their intellectual development, the conditions under which pupils learn. This article emphasizes the importance of applying new methods Ofteaching foreign languages.

The number of higher education institutions that recognize the results of IELTS continues to grow and grow. Currently IELTS is one of the most widely used English language examinations. It was a new format that demonstrated the changes in language learning, as well as the study of communicative languages and the development of English for specific purposes. Tasks are intended to illustrate the use of language in the real world. Two IELTS modules are offered: academic and general training. The Academic module is for those who are going to study at a university or have a high level of linguistic competence with a high degree of professionalism. The General Training module is designed for people who are going to live in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or those who are going to study or work in places where they do not need very high language skills.

The use of IELTS techniques helps to develop skills and help to avoid difficulties during the exam. Every year, more than a million people pass this exam, but some of them are not familiar with the IELTS techniques and do not know how to complete the task, but they do not achieve good results. Even the most professional user of the language may not be able to achieve great results. Because they have been trained to translate texts, they have learned to memorize dictionaries. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce new techniques of teaching English.

Reading is one of the basic skills that a student must acquire in the process of mastering a foreign language at school. The foreign language curriculum considers reading as one of the leading language classes to be developed. When learning to read, they should acquire different reading skills.

Reading is a lifelong skill to be used both at school and throughout life. According to Anderson reading is a basic life skill [1]. This is the cornerstone of the child's achievement in school and in fact the whole life. Without a good learning opportunity, personal development and joblessness inevitably will be lost. That's why readings have a great impact on many things. If students want to get the most out of the materials they are assigned, they have to learn to read critically or analytically. The idea here is that when we read something, the purpose is to try to understand what the intention is. Teele asserts that the goal of all readers should be to understand what they read. Research shows good readers are actively involved with the text, and they are aware of the processes they use to understand what they read. Teachers can help improve pupils' comprehension through instruction of reading strategies. Predicting, making connections, visualizing, inferring, questioning, and summarizing are strategies shown by research to improve reading comprehension.

A huge amount of work by teachers, psychologists, linguists, and physiologists is devoted to reading issues. It is on a multidisciplinary basis that the modern notion of this most complex mental function has been formed. We share the point of view of those researchers who understand reading as a complex psycho-physiological process aimed at deciphering and understanding the written message. Therefore, we follow them to highlight the technical and semantic aspects in reading. The meaningful side, being more significant, in turn depends on the formation of technical indicators: on the method, speed and accuracy of reading.

Reading, as well as writing, is included in one of the types of speech activity: in written speech. Like any activity, reading is impossible without a motive, a clear understanding of the purpose of this activity. Mastering the operational structure of reading skills and the application of acquired skills (reading and understanding words and sentences) in independent activities meets the learning and cognitive motives and needs of students.

Some foreign researchers students presented their views on the techniques of understanding the text. For example, Sheng defines most reading as the process of communication between reader and the writer in order to understand the empty of printed symbols, which involves recognition of writing letters, words, phrases, clauses, and comprehension [2].

Hengari further adds that interpretation, appreciation and application are much related to the process of reading. And thus, reading comprehension is the process of obtaining meaning from texts. The goal is to get a general idea of student what is described in the text. Subsequently, reading comprehension is a complex process in which the readers identify basic information and are able to predict, to infer, to argue and to recognize the writer's most points of view. Reading comprehension is divided into various skills. A well-known statement about reading skills from Mikulecky and Jeffries is a reader who wants to have a that higher level of reading, should be able to identify main idea, find detail information, make inference, have sufficient vocabulary while reading [3].

Similarly, Harmer also confirms that the five goals of reading comprehension are to identify the topic, predict and guess the detailed information, specific information and general understanding [4]. According to Hare and Milligan, the ability to define basic ideas in a text is an important key to reading comprehension. In addition, the recognition of the main idea is important because it not only helps readers understand the paragraph being read, but also helps them remember the content later. The basic idea is not stated in any particular sentence in a paragraph, but each sentence usually contains details that lead to a general idea. The information offered in the text may sometimes be too general or too specific. Therefore, readers should indicate information that is informed in the text, based on their needs or intentions to read. Finding this detailed information helps readers better understand the text. This is one of the aspects that improve reading comprehension (Mikulecky & Jeffries, 1996) [5]. In a number of statements, some words in one sentence are often repeated in other sentences.

Writers try not to repeat words very often, because it would be redundant, and thus, it will help readers to make inference or to recognize reference words and be able to identify the words which they refer to understand the meaning of the text. Vocabulary is greatly related to the reading ability because it is the main part of reading comprehension.

By knowing the meanings of words, readers can reduce the complexity of processing the information presented in the text. According to Brown, the more vocabulary a reader has, the easier it is for him to understand the text, in other words, increasing the size of the vocabulary has a noticeable effect on reading comprehension [6]. It is clear that comprehension is more than a matter of reading the words. Readers should be involved in active decision making, problem solving, and the use of background knowledge in an attempt to understand the texts they read. In consequence, the comprehension skill to find main ideas, details information, references, and guessing word meaning play a great role in determining the readers' overall understanding of the text being read. Among the methods that English teachers can use to improve pupils' reading comprehension are skimming and scanning techniques (techniques that use in IELTS exam).

According to Liao, skimming is done at a speed three to four times faster than normal reading [7]. Readers often skim when they have masses of materials to read in a limited amount of time. In skimming, readers only have to take the most important information and the main idea. As skimming is related to speed, it is necessary to improve the reading speed, readers also need to increase concentration, improve memory and reduce interruptions and stress. It is also necessary to ensure the skimming procedure in the following three steps:

  • read first sentence of paragraph
  • read last sentence of paragraph
  • read key words in between

Two skimming patterns were added in the process :

1. For formal style, and this is typical of most text books (long sentences and long paragraphs), therefore readers should read using the three steps outlined above.

2. For informal style (shorter sentences and paragraphs), the readers should read using first two steps only.

In teaching, the students are taught to skip words and learn to select key words or phrases to captivate important information with concentration and practice. Because, skimming technique deals with the process of rapid coverage of reading a text to determine its gist or main idea, so that the students need to accelerate the reading process. This is done so that they do not need to translate detailed information in the text. And so, it is typically recommended to read the first and the last sentence of the paragraph, because the main idea of the text is usually stated in those parts.

Scanning is unlike skimming, because readers are not concerned with the broad meaning of the text, but in detail. In this technique, the readers look for specific information within a text such as dates, names, and places. Moreover, Brown explains that scanning is the process of quickly searching for particular pieces of information in a text. The purpose of scanning is to extract specific information without reading the whole text. It is basically fast reading. It involves moving eyes quickly down the page seeking specific words or phrases. Scanning is important to develop reading skill. The procedures of scanning technique are:

  • -keep in mind only the specific information
  • -make a choice which clues would support the finding of necessary information.
  • -quickly look through the page to find out the clues. If the clues are found out, read that section to get the information needed.

While conducting the procedures above, readers should have full concentration while reading, be able to scan for the two or three search terms that describe the information needed and look for bolded or underlined words which may carry specific information in the text.

Reading for detail is probably the most commonly used reading technique. This is a slower reading process that starts at the beginning of a passage and proceeds to the end. When reading for detail, students should read every sentence, but they should not try to know the exact meaning of each word. Even native speakers infer the meaning of unknown words as they read. Students even when reading for information, they do not need to know every word on the page but should try and guess its meaning from the context, a valuable skill in and of itself. If students put too much pressure on themselves when it comes to new vocabulary, the dictionary may become more of a burden than a blessing. When reading for detail, students should aim to understand about eighty percent of the information they read. If they need an answer to a particular question that they may have missed, they can always go back and scan for it.

Previous studies have shown that introducing SST can enhance pupils' ability to understand the text. The study, which was conducted by foreign researchers, examined the effect of using SST on reading comprehension. The data were obtained by interviews, documentation and administering reading tests. The results showed that using SST improved pupils' reading comprehension and they enjoyed its implementation in the classroom. In another study, investigated the use of skimming and scanning with comprehending Two classes were used as a sample: the first class was taught with the skimming and scanning technique (IELTS techniques), meanwhile the second class was taught using the conventional method.

The results showed that the first class achieved the best results in understanding reading after skimming and scanning methods were implemented in the teaching and learning process. Another research also affirms that the use of skimming and scanning techniques can enhance reading comprehension and improve pupils' reading skills. Further observations and interviews showed that these methods also changed their pupils' perceptions towards reading to positive point ofviews, motivated the pupils to read better. Briefly, previous studies have shown that using skimming and scanning techniques can improve students' motivation and achievements in understanding reading.

Ngoc encourages teachers to inspire their students to practice skimming and scanning reading texts. This practice is believed to commendably "prevent the students from inefficient reading habits such as reading word by word, reading aloud, moving lips, translating, reading for form and details"[8]. When they can read efficiently, students can make predictions on the purpose of the texts, the main topic and supposedly some supporting ideas.


References and additional resources:

  1. Anderson, R.C., & Biddle, W.В. Ц On asking people questions about what they are reading.-1975 (p.9)
  2. Sheng, H. J. Ц A cognitive model for teaching reading comprehension. - 2000 (p.12-15)
  3. Mikulecky, B. S., & Jeffries, L. // Advanced reading power: Extensive reading, vocabulary building, comprehension skills, reading faster. - 2007 (p.ll)
  4. Harmer, J. // The practice of English language teaching (3rd Ed.). - 2001 (p.25)
  5. Mikulecky, B. S., & Jeffries, L. // More reading power. New York: Addison-Wesley Longman. - 1996 (p.13)
  6. Brown, F. А. Ц Vocabulary knowledge and comprehension in second language text processing: A reciprocal relationship? The Asian EFL Journal Quarterly. - 2010 (p.12)
  7. Liao, G. Ц On the development of reading ability. Theory and Practice in Language Studies - 2011 (p.23)
  8. Ngoc, N. T. M. Ц The essential roles of Skimming and Scanning Techniques in teaching reading comprehension. - 2015 (p.197)
  9. students. html
Year: 2019
City: Atyrau
Category: Pedagogy